23 February 2014

EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 was published by UNESCO on 29 January 2014. The title of this latest edition of the EFA GMR is Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all.

The report calls attention to the fact that none of the six Education for All goals will be achieved at the global level by the 2015 target year, including the goal of universal primary education (goal 2).

  • Goal 1: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
  • Goal 2: Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
  • Goal 3: Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes.
  • Goal 4: Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.
  • Goal 5: Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
  • Goal 6: Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

In addition to the tens of millions of children who remain excluded from education, millions more who attend school suffer from a poor quality of education. The EFA GMR 2013/4 emphasizes that teachers are the key to improving education quality and proposes several strategies to achieve good quality education for all.

Reference

  • UNESCO. 2014. EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 - Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all. Paris: UNESCO. (Download in PDF format, 13.8 MB)

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Friedrich Huebler, 23 February 2014 (edited 9 March 2014), Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2014/02/gmr.html

31 January 2014

Mean years of schooling in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, the population aged 25 years and older had on average 0.9 years of education in 2007, less than any other country for which the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) released estimates of mean years of schooling in December 2013.

The educational attainment of different age cohorts in Burkina Faso can also be examined with data from a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 2010. On average, persons aged 25 years and older in the DHS sample attended school for 1.4 years, slightly more than in the UIS data from 2007. The DHS data show a significant gender gap, with men having on average nearly twice as many years of schooling as women (1.9 years versus 1 year).

However, the disparity between men and women in Burkina Faso is not nearly as large as the disparity between the urban and rural population. In urban areas, the average number of years of education is 4.1 years, compared to 0.5 years in rural areas. Urban women have 11 times as many years of schooling as rural women (3.3 years versus 0.3 years). For men, mean years of schooling is 5.0 in urban areas and 0.7 in rural areas.

Mean years of schooling of the population 25 years and older, Burkina Faso, 2010
Total Male Female
Total 1.4 1.9 1.0
Urban 4.1 5.0 3.3
Rural 0.5 0.7 0.3
Source: Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey 2010.

The DHS data can also be used to compare the educational attainment of different age groups. The figure below visualizes mean years of schooling by five-year age group, from persons aged 20-24 years to those aged 70-74 years and 75 years and older. The graph is divided into nine segments with data for the total, male and female population of Burkina Faso, as well as the total, male and female population of urban and rural areas of the country. The blue line in each segment indicates the mean years of schooling by age group for the respective population group. In addition, each segment of the graph shows the lines for the other eight segments in light gray to make it easier to compare the data for the different groups.

One common feature across all population groups is that younger generations have more formal schooling than older generations, reflecting an expansion of access to education over time. In the total population, mean years of schooling increased from 0.1 years among those 75 years and older to 2.9 years among 20- to 24-year-olds. The biggest growth is observed among urban men: for this group, mean years of schooling is 0.8 years in the oldest cohort and 7.2 years among those aged 20-24 years. Rural women have traditionally been least likely to attend school but even here there is an upward trend: rural women 75 years and older have on average 0 years of schooling whereas rural women aged 20-24 years have on average 0.9 years of schooling.

In conclusion, although the average level of education in Burkina Faso is very low, the situation is improving over time because children are more likely to attend school today than in previous decades. At the same time, the population of rural areas continues to be at a distinct disadvantage and lack of access to education is especially widespread among rural women.

Mean years of schooling by five-year age group, Burkina Faso, 2010 (click image to enlarge)

Source: Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey 2010.

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Friedrich Huebler, 31 January 2014 (edited 4 February 2014), Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2014/01/mys.html

28 December 2013

Mean years of schooling

Mean years of schooling (MYS), the average number of completed years of education of a population, is a widely used measure of a country's stock of human capital. Since 2010, MYS is used as one of two education indicators (the second education indicator is the school life expectancy) in the calculation of the Human Development Index (HDI) (UNDP, 2010).

A well-known data set with estimates of MYS was developed by Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee, two pioneers in this field of work. In 1993, Barro and Lee published an article describing their data set, which was partly derived from data on educational attainment by the Division of Statistics of UNESCO. Barro and Lee continue to update their data set, which is available at their website.

In December 2013, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the successor of the Division of Statistics of UNESCO, published its first estimates of MYS of the population aged 25 years and older. This indicator, used in the calculation of the HDI, had previously not been available in the database of the UIS. The UIS methodology is based on the approach by Barro and Lee. There are still important gaps in the UIS database but the UIS will attempt to fill them in the coming years.

The figure below summarizes the MYS estimates released by the UIS in December 2013. The UIS provides data for 103 countries and territories from the period 1996 to 2013. In the figure, only the latest available data are shown for each country. All countries are grouped by geographic region and sorted by MYS of the total population. As noted above, there are large gaps in the UIS database. For example, MYS estimates are only available for 13 of the 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For two thirds of all countries, the MYS estimates are from 2007 or a later year but for the remaining countries, the most recent estimates are more than 6 years old. In spite of these gaps, some interesting patterns can be observed in the data.

MYS is highest (generally 8 years or more) in North America and Western Europe, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Among the countries with data, the highest MYS was calculated for the United Kingdom in 2011: 13.8 years. By contrast, MYS values are lowest in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In Burkina Faso, men and women 25 years and older completed on average less than one year of schooling.

Gender disparities, indicated by the difference between male and female MYS, are smallest in North America and Western Europe and in Central Asia, and largest in sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia. In Pakistan, adult men had on average completed 3 more years of schooling than adult women in 2011 (6.2 years for men versus 3.1 years for women). In East Asia and the Pacific and in sub-Saharan Africa, the spread between the countries with the lowest and highest MYS is more than 10 years. In the Arab States, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North America and Western Europe, the difference between the countries with the lowest and highest MYS is 6 years or less.

Mean years of schooling of the population 25 years and older, latest year available (click image to enlarge)

Note: Countries in each region sorted by MYS of total population.
Source: UIS Data Centre, December 2013, http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

The full data set with UIS estimates of MYS is available in the UIS Data Centre. The data set lists MYS values for the total, male and female population 25 years and older of 103 countries and territories, as well as the educational attainment data on which the MYS estimates are based.

  • Go to the UIS Data Centre at http://stats.uis.unesco.org.
  • Click on "Predefined Tables".
  • Click on "Literacy and Educational Attainment".
  • Click on "Mean years of schooling of population aged 25 years and older" to download an Excel file with all data.

References

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Friedrich Huebler, 28 December 2013, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2013/12/mys.html

22 December 2013

Updated programs and guide to integrating Stata and external text editors

The rundo and rundolines programs for integrating Stata with an external text editor were updated to version 4.1 to be compatible with Stata 13. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs was also revised. Changes include:

  • All Stata references in the guide were updated to version 13.1, the most recent version as of December 2013.
  • The troubleshooting section was expanded.
  • All broken links in the user guide were repaired.
  • The formatting of the guide was modified so that it is retained when the blog translation tool is used to read the guide in a different language.

Stata/SE 13.1 program window
Stata/SE 13.1 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 22 December 2013, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2013/12/stata.html

30 November 2013

National literacy trends, 1985-2015

The report Adult and Youth Literacy: National, Regional and Global Trends, 1985-2015 by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) provides literacy data for 151 countries for the years since 1985. In addition to historical data, the UIS report contains projections for 2015, the target year of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals. Regional trends in adult literacy were discussed previously on this site. This article takes a closer look at national trends in adult and youth literacy.

Figures 1 and 2 present all national literacy data from the UIS database for the period 1985 to 2015 by region. Each line represents the data for one country. Single markers mean that only data for one year was available for a country. The first eight segments of each figure contain data for the countries within each region: Arab States, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and Western Europe, South and West Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The "World" segment combines the data from all regions. In both figures, national trendlines are color coded according to the level of the earliest available literacy rate to facilitate distinguishing between individual countries and identifying the difference between the earliest and latest value for each country.

A comparison of adult literacy rates (for the population aged 15 years and older) in Figure 1 and youth literacy rates (for the population aged 15 to 24 years) in Figure 2 shows that youth literacy rates are generally higher than adult literacy rates. This is a reflection of the fact that younger generations are typically more likely to be able to read and write than older generations, except as countries reach universal literacy, as in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North America and Western Europe. The spread between the countries with the lowest and highest literacy rates is also smaller for youths than for adults. In South and West Asia, for example, the adult literacy rate is expected to range from 60% in Pakistan to 99% in the Maldives in 2015. By comparison, the youth literacy rate is expected to range from 77% in Pakistan to nearly 100% in the Maldives in the same year. This increase in literacy rates over time can be observed in nearly all countries with data.

Please consult the report published by the UIS for further analysis of adult and youth literacy. The statistical annex of the report contains all national adult and youth literacy rates shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1: Adult literacy rate (population 15 years and older) by region and country, 1985-2015

Note: National trendlines are color coded according to the earliest value for each country.
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2013. "Adult and Youth Literacy: National, Regional and Global Trends, 1985-2015". UIS information paper. Montreal: UIS. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/literacy-statistics-trends-1985-2015.pdf.

Figure 2: Youth literacy rate (population 15-24 years) by region and country, 1985-2015

Note: National trendlines are color coded according to the earliest value for each country.
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2013. "Adult and Youth Literacy: National, Regional and Global Trends, 1985-2015". UIS information paper. Montreal: UIS. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/literacy-statistics-trends-1985-2015.pdf.

References

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Friedrich Huebler, 30 November 2013, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2013/11/literacy.html